It has been a while hasn’t it? Well, best not to waste any time then!
Speaking of wasting time, the brand which was known in life as Scion decided to bow out with a final go at their traditional Release Series. The tC Release Series 10.0, incidentally the number where software developers begin to think that tacking the version number at the end of the program may be getting a bit old. It’s actually very similar to its old 1.0 counterpart. It will be rarer than that one with only 1,200 of them leaving the production line to be snapped by collectors who will never see a return of their investment.
Speaking of ways of losing money, Mitsubishi has decided that their flagship vehicle is the Mirage now, which is just as well considering almost everything else is whithering in the vine. To that end they’re bringing the sedan version of the Mirage, the G4, to the US market. Now, those have been around for quite a while around here and I can assure you all that the trunk does absolutely nothing to improve the car.
On the other hand Mitsubishi is also bringing along the Outlander PHEV around. It only reminds me that is isn’t the Hydrogen one. But if you want a Hybrid SUV at a (hopefully) lower-than-average price it may be worth taking a look at. You know, while waiting for Mitsu to come up with a New Galant or something to compete with the Tacoma, Frontier and Colorado in the US.
Moving on to a company that is actually constantly developing their products, Acura brought their newest MDX to the show, and with it a complete rebuttal to me and my article implying that the beak would become a feature in many future Hondas. Exactly 10 model-years after the MDX giveth us the beak, the 2017 MDX taketh it away. And a good thing it is too, the front looks clean and even the bug-eye LED lights seem to fit a lot better without the power prow in front. Okay, some may argue that the Acura Badge is about five sizes too big for the grille but considering what we are coming from that is a very easily forgiven offense.
Which is something that can’t be said of VW’s Dieselghazi, especially now that it seems that the supposed fix isn’t making an appearance. VW of course would rather you forget all about that and focus on things like this: The Golf Alltrack. Well, being how it looks sufficiently similar in name and concept to the old Corolla All-Trac it is very relevant to my interests. It’s a wagon. It’s AWD. You can have it with a Manual! You can have it with a Diese…no hang on… Well, even if it all of that is incredibly enticing, we still have the little problem of VW’s questionable reliability reputation on the continent.
A car I would really buy, questionable reliability be damned, is the new Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth. Just look at it. It’s a Miata, but better. With that sports exhaust and that turbocharged 1.4-liter engine sending power through a limited slip differential to the rear wheels, it should be amazing fun whether you want to go blasting through a mountain road or just cruising alongside the coast with Un homme et une femme in the stereo and your very own significant other of the time in the passenger seat.
“They did an X4? Fuck it, we can’t let them have that incredibly large market to themselves.”
The Toyota Prius, Now actually capable of running in EV mode for more than a yard.
The Mercedes-AMG E43 is actually interesting because it’s actually all the AMG-ness you can ever possibly need in your midsize 4-door sedan. It’s also probably the only time where having an Alphanumeric that isn’t related in even the tiniest way to the engine size is a good thing. I’m guessing a lot of people in Bavaria would be rather upset if Mercedes would go ahead and release the Mercedes-AMG E30.
Toyota 86…is now actually called the Toyota 86. It also gets a small facelift and a five-horsepower bump so that followers of the great gearhead depreciation paradox can have one more thing to complain about.
On the subject of facelifts. Godzilla has had another lift done. 20 extra horses and a retuned suspension to maximize comfort while keeping it squarely among the royalty in car handling. There’s also more luxury in the form of a revised infotainment system and seats that are both lighter and more comfortable. By constantly evolving the GT-R Nissan has managed to bestow it with eternal youth of a sort. Oh sure, in time a complete revision will be necessary to keep the GT-R nameplate at the forefront of sports cars, but right now at nine years from its launch it’s still one of the best cars on the market.
There were two cars that caught my attention most of all from the show, and they’re both so good that I can’t decide between them. This is especially tricky when we remember that they are based on the same car. One, the 124 Abarth, I already mentioned. The other one is this; the Mazda MX-5 RF. Ever since the MX-5 was released people have been clamoring for a hardtop version. Those people, presumably, forget that there’s such a thing as the 86 nowadays. But I digress, last generation we sort of had our wish with the retractable hardtop version. This generation Mazda decided to take it one step further by offering a Targa version of the same concept. The roof mechanism even works in a similar way to the current Porsche 911 Targa’s. The Abarth may have the turbo power, seductive proportions and a fabulous engine note, but this one has the weather protection, the bragging rights and the rear buttresses. I really can’t decide between them. What about you? MiaTarga or Fiata?